A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States that can cause long-term disability, brain damage, and even death. About 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year and nearly 1 in every 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease are due to stroke. The good news is that making positive lifestyle changes can reduce your stroke risks and other cardiovascular problems.
Treatment and Prevention
There are several healthy habits that can help reduce your risk of stroke:
- Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthy meal and snack options low in sodium can help prevent strokes. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of stroke.
- Be physically active. Adults should aim to get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Children and teens should get 1 hour of physical activity each day.
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your chances of having a stroke.
- Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure.
- Prevent or manage your other health conditions. Specifically, you should manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
For additional resources and information about stroke, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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